Sponsored streaming: what is, benefits and best tools

Sponsored streaming: what is, benefits and best tools

    Even before the obvious boost in popularity because of the 2020 pandemic, live streaming was already a growing trend for companies trying to connect more meaningfully with their audience.

    But what is different now is that other businesses and partners are seeing the value of this media and investing a lot in sponsored streaming.

    How can you use that interest to leverage your Digital Marketing plan and use live events to engage and convert? 

    Let’s talk about that, answering the main questions you might have:

    What is a sponsored stream?

    When live streaming became popular enough to be made and viewed on larger scales, it started as a communication channel between companies, artists, influencers, and their public.

    They quickly understood that an online broadcast generates a lot more engagement than a TV show, so why not use that power to attract and convert leads for brands and their partners?

    A sponsored stream is any live event on the internet funded and produced by companies that want to associate their image with you.

    This format became really popular at the beginning of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic made physical event attendance impossible.

    Without physical activation to engage, these businesses realized they could have the same results (or even more) interacting with digital audiences.

    Why should you invest in sponsored streams?

    It was not a coincidence that an incredible number of artists and businesses used their platforms to broadcast interactive content and give more visibility to associated brands.

    Sponsored streaming is highly engaging, as it makes viewers feel part of the process. It is also a richer media, where you can integrate formats, compelling storytelling, and visuals to convince leads to take new actions towards conversion.

    Proof of that can be seen in some eye-opening statistics: 40% of live streaming viewers admit that the media increases their chance of making a purchase. And companies that go live get a 41% increase in traffic from searches. 

    Those numbers alone are enough to convince some partners to join you. 

    When done right, sponsored streaming can consolidate more of your customer’s loyalty, raise your brand’s visibility, and bring a new audience to all the brands associated with you.

    What are the best tools for live sponsored streaming?

    So now you know more about the opportunities you have to engage and raise brand awareness. But how does one begin?

    A successful sponsored stream, one that brings value to the content, and results in lead generation for all your partners, needs the right tools to improve quality and interaction.

    In that sense, we’d like to show you some of the best software, services, and technologies on the market to help you achieve those goals. Check it out!

    OBS Studio

    If we could go back as little as ten years ago, we’d see that a professional broadcast (on or off the internet) would require a lot of investment in equipment and specialized talent support.

    That isn’t the case anymore, and most of it has to do with OBS Studio, or Open Broadcast Software: a free, open-source suite for video recording and live streaming.

    OBS has all the tools for professional, TV-like streaming:

    • preset scenes;
    • easy composition for multimedia (like letterings, social interactions, sponsored brands, and QR codes);
    • live and easy to use audio control;
    • integration with social media, and much more.

    All of that in an intuitive interface and a solid community behind it to help you set up the perfect stream for your audience.

    Zoom

    Depending on the kind of stream you want to do, you will want to have guests. Maybe a more plural discussion, or bringing a sponsor to talk about a product or service.

    Zoom makes that easy. The video conference software not only brings great quality to audio and pictures but also has a few extra functionalities to enrich the content. Some of these are:

    • custom, AI-based backgrounds;
    • automatic camera control that focuses on who is talking;
    • mediating and organizational tools to guide and balance guests’ participation.

    YouTube

    After you have a script, your guests, and your setup ready, it is time to go live. 

    And there are two main channels in which you can do that.

    Let’s start with YouTube. One of its main advantages is the popularity of the site itself. Most of your audience uses YouTube, and it’s familiar with it. 

    That helps you integrate a live stream with other social media and even your previously published video content.

    But there are other advantages. YouTube live streaming has support for paid chat (Super Chat) and the ability to visit a previous moment in the broadcast and then go back to the live feed instantly.

    Twitch

    Amazon’s Twitch became notable for its game streaming scene, but it is more frequently used for varied kinds of content.

    The thing is, Twitch could pull fewer numbers than YouTube depending on the audience, but it is way more focused on engagement. 

    This way, you have more tools available to interact with them and even build loyalty for your live content plan.

    For example, Twitch has a native subscription model integrated with Amazon Prime. An easy way to create a base audience and make that a long term strategy — constancy and predictable numbers will always bring more sponsors.

    Social Media

    This is an item on our list to cover all the main social media channels used for live streaming today. Twitter and Instagram are probably the most commonly used for that.

    The good think about them is that they are easy to use and directly connected to your leads. Everyone who follows you will potentially watch at least a part of your broadcast because they don’t have to take any actions. Sponsors will love those impressions.

    The downside usually is in their limitations. These social media channels offer little flexibility exposing content and your sponsors. And they make it a little harder to integrate the discussion from outside — as they want you to stay as much as possible in their ecosystem.

    Live

    Until now, we talked about tools that make your sponsored stream happen, with control over the content and basic interaction with your audience.

    But what if you could really turn this event into an engagement powerhouse? This is exactly what Live can do for you.

    Live is not a service to help you broadcast, but a companion to transform viewers into active participants. It helps you manage and utilize user-generated content, integrate every social media platform possible into your stream (with a social media wall, for example), and offer richer interaction for attendees.

    It can be used for fan engagement, corporate communications, and brand experiences — everything that is compelling and attractive for partners wanting to be part of your content.

    For sponsored streaming, this is the right formula: a well-produced content, a quality broadcast, and the right drive to make your audience participate.

    So how about starting your streaming strategy and including it in your Digital Marketing plan? So talk to our experts and see how our tools are the perfect solutions for you!

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